Friday, August 25, 2006

Smoking

I was once married, to a guy, no less. He smoked. How and why I married him, in spite of his smoking (and more) is just one of the mysteries confounding the psyche. Yet, there I was married to a man who smoked.

Though the entire sum of my life had been in the company of smokers, I was steadfastly and resolutely in the non column once reaching maturity. So, how did I hook up with a smoker? Well, given the size of the pond the odds weren't in my favor. However, I could not continue to live with a smoker.

YM was a wee babe, very nearly a year old when the "Get Daddy to Stop Smoking" initiative was launched. Early on, daddy was all about the babe and generally protective of his progeny.

Out of a newly purchased pack of cigarettes, came two, the rest I threw away. Whenever YM and I were alone, I selected a moment to show him the cigarette. When I did this in a manner consistent to *lighting up* I simultaneously coughed uncontrollably. YM was encouraged to mimic my actions.

He got so good, I thought he might really be sick.

A few weeks later, no more smoking pop. Efforts to adjust other behaviors weren't so successful.

When I was very young only daughter, stuck in the middle, yearning to be accepted, I joined the brothers and cousins in a fam favorite, grown-up game. A bunch of little kids mimicking the *cool* adults and older teens in their world. Our cool adults liked card parties. They played cards, drank whiskey or beer, and smoked.

Everyone in my life, in the beginnings of my life, smoked. My mother who started when she was 15, was a grizzled veteran by the time she had me at twenty. I don't recall ever seeing my dad without a cigarette between his fingers, lips or stuck behind his ear. Each and every one of the aunts and uncles, from both sides, that I'd ever met, smoked-around the kids-around the clock.

Smoking was big in my world.

The kids bit down lollipops to use the sticks as props. If we were flush we would get some of those candy cigarettes. We sucked and puffed on the sticks and pretended to be cool, just like our parents and older cousins. Launched whenever we all got together, we played variations of the game for weeks.

My dad saw me, well noticed me pretending one of these times. He chose this day to decided he didn't like what he saw. After smacking me a few times, yelling, "So you want to smoke? I'll teach you about smoking!" He sat me down, stuck a cigar the size of Idaho between my lips, lit it and forced me to smoke it down, until I became too sick to even cry. I was seven.

I never knew why I was signaled out for this lesson. Later, I thought it was because I was a girl. Or he just didn't like me. Aside from our group whippings, my punishments always seemed more vigorous than any my brothers received. Or my brothers were tougher. Much later, I'd decided my dad was a kook-or high most of the time, he was in our presence.

Still, I don't smoke.

The initiative towards getting this only daughter a date has launched. Smokers (and men) need not apply.

11 comments:

  1. Not many folks in my family smoked, I have but a vague memory of one of my grandmothers doing so. Somehow, though, young stupid me picked up the habit and I have struggled with putting it down for years.

    Good on you for being smoke-free. I'm envious.

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  2. What a tough way to learn a lesson. Maybe he could have showed you an xray of his lungs instead?
    I'm just saying...

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  3. Oy, so you don't smoke, good for you, cupcake. Now, let's get to the good stuff...

    A date! And just what are we looking for here? Sense of humor, smart, long walks on the beach?

    Let us know, we'll start looking for you.

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  4. wordsrock- It's a trial because my mom still smokes and visits back and forth for any real length of time is rough.

    amaya- Yes, tough methods. Living with him was an *adventure* to say the least.

    elizabeth- Yes, a dddaaattte, yeah that. Wait, let me try that again. Yes! a date. What are we looking for? hmmm. A smart, funny beach walker--good start, we'll have to flesh this out a bit.

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  5. Poor little Deborah. What a mean daddy.

    I'm glad you don't smoke, it's just plain nasty. I was up to 3 packs a day when I finally quit 2 1/2 decades ago. So reformed smokers are the worst, because WE REALLY HATE IT!! I don't even visit my brother because they stink over there, the whole house smells like cigarette smoke. PEEEEfuckingUUUUU is what I have to say. Barf-ola.

    Enough of that rant. I'm glad you are getting ready to date! It's good to know your limitations. Some things you can compromise on, but THAT clearly isnt one of them! What else would you like & not like, want & not want in a woman ???

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  6. You see...your lesbian sisters are here to help! We'll get you hooked up.

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  7. kmae-my dad wouldn't win any prizes for sure--sadder yet, he wasn't the worst I'd seen.

    ...and what I like or not, want or not, still working on the particulars-but the broad strokes-someone like me--but not.

    elizabeth, you guys are the best. I need to warn you though, it's been a long long time...rusty doesn't even begin to cover it. But I do believe I'm ready oil it up. The assistance and encouragement much appreciated.

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  8. "... ready to oil it up."

    Oh my.

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  9. Perhaps your father and my mother are related.

    Despite my addictive personality smoking did not catch on with me, thank goodness. The smell alone sends my senses into a tailspin. My roommate just started smoking again. Joy!

    Can't wait to hear your date story/stories. :)

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  10. Am SO with you sister! LBPx

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  11. Thanks so much for stopping by LBP!

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Hi! Your visit is much appreciated.